Mahlobo, the Ling Ling twins, the wipe­out

CityPress - - Voices - Paddy Harper voices@city­

Thurs­day. The tide is full, so Dur­ban’s North Beach is a slither of glit­ter­ing black sand that’s al­ready warm un­der­foot at quar­ter past six in the morn­ing.

I’d been driven out of bed an hour be­fore by the heat and a rather lurid night­mare in­volv­ing Min­is­ter of Man­i­cures David Mahlobo and the Ling Ling twins, and felt some­how grubby and in need of cleans­ing, so all roads led to the In­dian Ocean.

Mahlobo’s a creepy cat, and a gropey one at that, but at least he’s proved my man JahNoDead wrong when he reck­oned On­goye Univer­sity’s finest son couldn’t or­gan­ise a hand­job in a whore­house. Clearly he can, if the gallery of pic­tures of Mis­ter T let­ting his hands wan­der all over the as­sets of a se­ries of Ori­en­tal hon­eys that have emerged on so­cial me­dia and else­where are for real. What a mup­pet.

My body gives a last lit­tle in­vol­un­tary shud­der at the thought of Dirty Dave and his Dis­gust­ing Dig­its, and I fo­cus on the ocean. I have no sense of bal­ance, so body­surf­ing is my thing.

The ocean’s glassy, with a few surfers al­ready at back­line to the right of the pier. There’s a per­fect body wave at mid-break, hol­low and slow and peel­ing. I let the cur­rent take me and in sec­onds I’m up on my first wave and I’m air­borne.

It’s one of those morn­ings when there’s no ef­fort in get­ting a rhythm go­ing. It’s be­ing in the right place at the right mo­ment and tak­ing the drop. It’s beau­ti­ful and ter­ri­fy­ing at the same time.

You’re weight­less. There’s this mas­sive force of wa­ter that’s bear­ing down on you. You’re pow­er­less to stop it. If you stay, it will drown you. The nat­u­ral re­ac­tion is to curl into a ball or try to go un­der. In­stead you stretch your body and let it take you. Your heart is in our mouth and you’re fly­ing, and for those sec­onds you’re part of that power.

I take a lovely big one. I’m glued to the face of the wave. There’s this beau­ti­ful cur­tain of wa­ter as the lip of the wave bar­rels over me. I’m scream­ing with joy and tast­ing salt wa­ter, kick­ing for speed and I make it.

I let the wave take me all the way to shore. I get to my feet and stum­ble up the beach. I’m out of breath, my mus­cles ache and I’m ready for a shower.

I hit the show­ers. They’re dry. So are the three at the south­ern end of the beach.

Mahlobo’s a creepy cat, and a gropey one at that

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